Tag Archives: excerpt

Poetry Friday – BookTour: The Rise of Gadreel -4

16 Apr

Hi, everyone! Welcome. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Heroes & Villians

Heroes and villains seem harder to define
when somethings happen to blur the lines
The villain style of justice may appear better than no justice at all
When the system fails the victim and makes the victim feel so small
Where are the Heros when evil abounds?
Are they still around? 
Who fights for truth and justice throughout the land?
Who is brave enough to take a stand?
Remember heroes often are easily disguised as ordinary people and don't stand out in a crowd
Their anonymity allows them to work behind the scenes 
they effectively crush the evil villains dreams.
The Heros tirelessly fight for truth and justice and selflessly care for others in need.
They support and encourage those that the villains of this world have knocked down.
The villains can too easily be found courtesy of our television screen they often make a showing on the 6 or 10 o clock news they are promoting violence they don't care about anyone else's views.
As far as Heros go you may discover that a Heros heart is contained inside of You.
Hero or Villain?
The choice is yours
Today you could take a stand to right some societal wrong
Today you can be strong and be a Hero to a friend or loved one or a stranger in need. To them can  make a difference indeed.
Hero's Traits:
H elping
E ncouraging 
R espectful
O pportunity 
Perhaps these traits are within you
Be the Hero that you long to see! 

Poem by Ann M. Johnson


Every story needs its hero and its villain. They are both important to the plot. I enjoy a villain who believes he’s the hero in the story. I also enjoy a villain who is clever, proud, vengeful, deceitful, merciless, and who totally embraces his dark side.

These are a few of my favorite villains:

Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery. A nurse and serial killer, Annie, rescues her favorite novelist Paul Sheldon from certain death after a horrible automobile accident. She sweetly nurses him back to health, only to break his legs with a sledgehammer after she finds out his plan to end her favorite novel series. She loved him, but she had to save him from himself. 😉

Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Cersei was extremely clever and had many of the same characteristics of a hero but was completely misdirected. Everything she did was for “the good of the family,” especially, her kids, which she adored. Unfortunately, her eldest son and daughter were poisoned, and her youngest committed suicide.

Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. Dr. Hannibal Lector was charming, classy, well read, and highly intelligent. He was also a terrifying, serial killing, cannibal psychiatrist. He knew what he was and embraced his evil ways completely.

In The Rise of Gadreel, the main villain is Satan, who escapes his earthly prison with the help of Lilituen witches by absorbing the body and essence of a young sorcerer, Abigor Chailín. Abigor volunteered to be Satan’s vessel, even though he knew he would perish. During the process of absorption Abigor’s knowledge, experience, and innate magical powers passed on to Satan, who would take over his identity. The following excerpt is in Abigor Chailín’s (Satan’s) voice.

Excerpt:

The day moved at the pace of a three-toed sloth, and when evening came at last, bodies willing and able to do my bidding crammed the great hall.

“The time has come,” I said. “Gadreel and her allies, dubbed the Fearless Five, shall enter the gates of London soon, and we must be ready.”

A Lilituen monk stepped forward, his head hung to avoid eye contact, and he wrung his hands as he spoke. “Many have spoken of a persuasive phantom who accompanies Gadreel, as well as a warrior priest who shifts into a fiend at will, a mighty sorceress, and a rock giant.” 

I watched him squirm for a while, and then stepped toward him. 

“Look at me!” I said. His eyes met mine. “Peasants tend to exaggerate, making issues appear grander than they are. But even if matters were as they claimed, who cares? Have we not formidable warriors and sorcerers in our midst? And most importantly, you have me, and there is not a creature on Earth who can defeat me. Do you disagree?”

            “No, Master,” he said. “The people of London, especially the peasants, suffer cold, sickness, and hunger. Their opinion of you, Master, if I may speak freely”—he paused and waited for my permission to go on—“has declined.”

            “And why should I care about the opinions of peasants?”

            “Because they may decide to join forces with the Fearless Five against us.” 

            “You stand in a room filled with mighty warriors, sorcerers, and demons, and you are worried about a handful of emaciated farmers? Oh ye of little faith.”

            “God is on their side,” the monk said.

            “You forget God is up there, and I am down here.” And with those words I placed my hands on the monk’s head, whispering a spell under my breath. 

Soon, my hands took on a green aura, and his face came to be the color of a pickled cherry. He convulsed, his eyes bulging out of their sockets, blisters distorting his skin as it darkened to the color of a ripe plum. Steam exploded from his ears, followed by dark blood which also oozed from his eyes and mouth. I lifted my hands and he crumbled, dead, to the ground.

            “Take away this filth,” I instructed my servants. They came forth and did my bidding in haste. “Anyone else have doubts? There’s no time for misgivings. Either you are with me or against me. Decide which it is, here and now.”

            The assembled remained quiet.

            “I shall take your silence to mean that you are with me and ready to do all that I ask of you. The whole of England is in peril, and so is the church. I’ll restore order, and the people shall keep the faith. First, drastic measures are required.”

Lilituens – A sect of witches and sorcerers which include demons and half-breeds with innate magical powers.

Fearless Five – A band of heroes that defend and protect human beings from evil forces. Gadreel, Dracúl, Thomas, Sabina, and Golem make up the Fearless Five.

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thank you for visiting!

Poetry Friday: The Rise of Gadreel (BookTour – 3)

9 Apr

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

A hero

will die to protect

Marvelous

Courageous

Would help no matter the cost

They walk among us

Which type of heroes do you like best in stories?

I prefer heroes who have flaws. Someone who is genuinely good but who has made mistakes, who has faced challenges and doubts, and who is sometimes vulnerable . . . a person who perhaps starts off ordinary, and as the story unfolds, becomes more apparent. I enjoy reading about heroes who are intelligent, selfless, kind, and courageous. They feel the fear and do what needs to be done anyway. I find the classic hero, who is perfect in every way and completely fearless, kind of boring. Gadreel is the type of hero I enjoy reading about.

Excerpt:

Sabina dismounted her horse and treaded up to the gate. She placed a hand on the stone wall and lurched back. “A witch cast a binding spell on this town.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“A magical binding is a hex that restrains people, preventing them from doing something.” Sabina placed both palms against the gate and closed her eyes briefly. “An effective sorcerer did not want the people of this town to leave.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I’m not sure.”

I rode past the gate into Warwick, and the others followed me.

We climbed off our mounts. I kissed my horse on its neck and told him to lead the others to water. They galloped away, and we ambled on. Every surface, every blade of grass and twig, grew long ice crystals. In the distance a low clinging fog concealed the homes at the top of the road. 

We continued toward the east of town and ran across a monastery. Blackened and charred walls crumbled under the weight of ashes. The ruins were still smoking, even in this frigid weather. We maneuvered the creaking threshold and came across the charred remains of several monks. One of them lay curled knee-to-nose, while another gripped his pectoral cross with both hands. Glass littered the floor where the windows had broken, and oil lamps lay blackened and twisted on the ground amid the corpses.

“Almost nothing escaped the bloody fire,” Golem said.

Dracúl banged his fist against a wall, almost knocking it down, and stormed out of the monastery. I followed him, and the others trailed behind.

“There’s a castle on the hill,” I said. “Let’s go there. Perhaps there’s someone who can tell us what happened here.”

Dracúl stared ahead, blood tears pooling in his eyes, and we moved on. 

More rotting bodies lay strewn on the streets as we made our way to the castle. Most had missing parts. Many of the corpses’ middles had a strange bowl-shaped appearance. Upon closer inspection, we realized that their organs had been removed. Their chests and abdomens caved in because they were hollow. 

“Why?” Golem whispered. 

There should have been a foul stench in the air, but the cold, dry winds somehow inhibited the release of the disgusting stink coming off the dead bodies. 

We knocked on doors and searched inside the dwellings. We passed the charred remains of a house. Upon investigation, we learned that the only edifices burned down were those that stored food and sheltered livestock, but this particular house was a regular family home. Why was it burned? Only its skeleton stood under the vibrant wintry sun. Sabina rushed inside, and before long, a scream pierced the air. We hurried in to find Sabina motionless with her hands covering her mouth. I steeled myself, went to her, and gasped at the gruesome scene. 

I hope the excerpt intrigued you. The poetry form I used for my opening poem is a Shadorma. Thanks again for the visit.

Poetry Friday: The Rise of Gadreel – 2

2 Apr

Hello, everyone. Welcome. This is the 2nd post in my book tour. But, before I get on with it, I wanted to dedicate the following poem to the lovely and talented Sue Vincent who is no longer in the land of the living. She will be sorely missed.

She Made Words Talk

She walks in beauty

among the clouds with angels

reciting poems

She was a proper poet

Sue had a way with language

The main character in The Rise of Gadreel is a fallen angel. Gadreel was never evil, but she fell into the wrong crowd and did bad things, influenced by her close friend Lilith. After her fall from grace, she had plenty of time to ponder her many mistakes. Remorseful and ashamed, she no longer wanted to follow those evil creatures that got her exiled from her home in heaven. She escaped them and has looked for ways to make amends and find God’s forgiveness, ever since. She and Dracúl, son of fallen angels, found each other and became close friends. Together, and with the help of three unlikely allies; Thomas, Golem and Sabina set out to save mankind from an evil force that has awakened and threatened to end the world, as we know it.

Now that you’re a little more familiar with Gadreel, I’d like to introduce you to some of the other characters from The Rise of Gadreel.

Thomas:

Thomas was once the youngest of a group of Cathar monks living in a monastery. He was a cantor and tended to the gardens. When his brethren discovered certain scrolls not admitted into Catholicism, they began to document them. The church accused them of heresy, and one night, warrior monks attacked the monastery. All the monks, including Thomas, were forced out to the courtyard where they were burned alive. Since then, the monastery has been haunted by the spirits of the monks who were wrongly accused and suffered a terrible death. Thomas is a kind soul who still sings and tends the gardens, but many of the ghosts have grown restless and furious against God and the church. Their souls have been mutated into something evil and corrupted, and Thomas is trapped in the monastery with them.

Sabina:

Sabina’s mother was a white witch, a beautiful and caring woman. One day she became ill. White witches from all over the country came to their village to try to save her, to no avail. Sabina never knew her father and so became orphaned once her mother died. The people of the village loved Sabina’s mother and took care of her child. A year later, a woman named Helga arrived at the village claiming to be Sabina’s aunt from her father’s side. Since no one had ever met Sabina’s father, they assumed the woman spoke the truth. Helga took the child to her home in the woods, and even though Sabina was a child, she soon became aware that this woman was nothing like her mother. Instead, Helga was a bad witch who practiced black magic and meant to do her harm. Unbeknownst to Sabina, she had come from a long line of white witches and had potent magic within her. Her aunt forced her to practice day and night and develop her magic, all along planning to take it from her. When Sabina finally understood Helga’s plan, she began to study and practice both black and white magic, developing her strength and knowledge in secret.

A couple of years later, she escaped Helga’s house where she lived in fear and had been imprisoned. Shortly after her escape, she was adopted by a pair of Lilituens who inducted her to a mighty coven of witches. Despite growing up in fear and being surrounded by evil, Sabina’s mother’s influence remained strong in her, and she used her powers to do good for mankind.

Golem:

As a boy, Vikings raided Golem’s village. They murdered his father while he watched and hid. When another pirate grabbed his mother, he was compelled to rescue her. Golem ran to his mother, grabbed her hand, and tried to pull her away from the Viking who held her captive. He laughed as the boy struggled and hacked off his arm with his ax. Then he chopped his mother’s head clean off––Golem’s small, severed hand and arm still in her grip. Golem fell unconscious and was left for dead. An older couple, Abraham and Madrona, rescued him and nursed him back to health. They raised him as their own, and he grew into a strong, self-sufficient, one-armed man in their home. When the old couple died, Golem inherited a small stone figurine with supernatural powers, which he used for the good of mankind.

Dracúl, Thomas, Gadreel, Sabina, and Golem.

I hope you enjoyed meeting some of the characters from The Rise of Gadreel! Thank you for your visit and support.

Launch Day! The Rise of Gadreel

22 Dec

Hi, everyone! Today is the ‘Launch Date‘ for my new book, The Rise of Gadreel! I was hoping the paperback would have gone live today too, but for some reason, Amazon still has it on review. I’m not surprised since everything this year has happened at its own pace. I’m told the paperback will be released soon. Because of this inconvenience I’ve left the price of the eBook at .99¢ until the paperback goes live. Please help me spread the word.

Today I’d like to share another excerpt from the book. In this excerpt my main character Gadreel is visiting an abandoned monastery said to be haunted by a group of monks. She meets her ally Thomas for the first time. I hope you enjoy it.

The courtyard had a peculiar allure. The vast, grass-covered area surrounded by flowering bushes and small trees lay interspersed with benches and statues of saints and angels. As I explored the center opening of the monastery, nothing smelled as it should. Blooms of indeterminate colors crowded the shrubberies. The calls of birds echoed oddly, and the grass appeared several hues brighter than it should be, especially in the gloomy light. Nothing in the garden looked hideous—only bizarre. 

A bench beneath a trellis caught my eye, and I settled there, marveling at the roses which grew atop it and wrapped their way down both sides. I sat humming a melody. My hum became a song sung in a church I visited once. They’re called hymns, the songs in churches. I closed my eyes and continued to sing. They sprung open when another voice sang along with me. I stopped singing. The other voice quieted too. My body shivered, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as I looked around and found no one. I sang once more, and the other voice joined in as before. The sound, no more than a whisper, like the soft susurration of the wind in the trees, amplified to a clear, melodic song.

At first, the ghost revealed itself as no more than a shimmer of mist. Through it the shrubs, statues, and trees were a little out of focus. When the spirit stood before me, it congealed into the form of a young monk. 

In his gaze, my mind cleared of emotion. Instead of fleeing or screaming, I stood more still than the moss-covered statues in this place—and just as cold.

“Why are you here?” he asked as he stared at me with brilliant blue eyes. He had the smile of an angel and silvery-white skin.

The fear inside me diminished, for his voice, although loud and clear, sounded like an archangel’s song, and his kind face reminded me of spring. No harm would come from him.

“I could ask you the same question,” I said.

He observed me for a while, tilting his head toward his shoulder while narrowing his eyes. He wore a monk’s robes similar to that which Dracúl wore, minus the cross. Fabric that had long since decayed into the soil beneath our feet swayed with a white shimmering beauty about his ankles.

He touched a rose, and the flower contracted and expanded like it had taken a breath.

“On the night they invaded,” he said, “I slept in my bed, dreaming of my deepest desires for happiness, wholeness, and holiness, when forceful arms dragged me out here.” He signaled toward the area of the courtyard with a wave. “They had already arranged wooden stakes around the center square. I looked at the posts, not quite understanding. Fifty-five of us burned alive that night. I recall how my brethren begged for their lives, how they screamed when the fires consumed their flesh. And the smells . . . have you ever caught a whiff of burning hair?” He studied me, his eyes brimming with silver tears that shone brilliantly in the gloomy light. 

I shook my head and he continued. “It is the worse smell. We suffered a brutal death, a sentence we did not deserve. The pope and three of his bishops bore witness to our suffering and—”

“One moment! Did you say the pope?”

“Yes. Not the current pope, but he who came before him. He gave the order to light the fires and sat in a special throne-like chair brought for him to watch us burn.”

I gasped and gawked at him in disbelief. “What were your crimes?” The words almost choked me on the way out.

“The church accused us of heresy, but in fact, we merely identified philosophies they did not want admitted into Catholicism. There are evil forces everywhere, even within the church. We had uncovered certain truths and wrote them down. When the church found out, they sent warrior monks and priests to warn us and take away our scrolls, but the pope wanted the knowledge we had acquired to disappear along with us, and came to ensure it. They dug a huge pit right here and dropped our charred bodies into it, along with any evidence that we once existed. Afterward, they covered the mass grave with dirt and planted grass over it.”

I wrapped my arms around myself and hung my head, wondering if Dracúl knew the whole story of what had happened here. I looked at the ghost.

“Are the other monks here too?”

“When the hand of salvation came to us, some of us refused it,” he said. “Most of my brethren went into the light. Souls are a form of divine energy, so those of us that chose to stay were released to roam as spirits.”

“Why did you choose to stay? Heaven is a marvelous place. I once lived in the third level and lowest realm of heaven called Floraison, a paradise magnificent beyond compare. There’s no hope of me ever returning there, but if there’s still a chance for you, you should take it.”

“Why can you not return to your home?”

“My name is Gadreel. I fought in the war in heaven as a rebel angel and was exiled to Earth as punishment. I can never return to Floraison, but I seek God’s forgiveness for my many transgressions. You didn’t answer my question. Why did you choose to stay in this horrible place?”

He moved, and as he did so he disintegrated, like a diffusing fog. At times I lost track of him for a moment, and then once he stopped moving, he appeared in his monk form again.

“I’m not sure why I stayed. Questions whirled in my mind, confusing me. I loved God, the church, and the pope. I couldn’t understand why this happened to me, to my brethren. I’m merely a trapped soul, too scared to move on, desperate not to stay.”

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. I plan to have my book tour next month, so stay tuned for that. Thank you for visiting. Have a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year!

The Rise of Gadreel ~ Excerpt

6 Nov

Hi, everyone! I’m happy to see you here. Welcome.

I’m currently doing the final reading of my WIP, The Rise of Gadreel, and I’m reading it (cover to cover) out loud. I’ve had a lot of fun writing this book. It’s been my favorite to write so far, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy process. Because the story is set in the Medieval Period I had to do an enormous amount of research to get the details right. I also had to research the Medieval Roman Catholic Church, the Black Plague, the Little Ice Age, among many other things. Although my books are fantasy fiction I like to ground my stories in reality. Luckily, I enjoy doing the research. I can’t wait to release this book. I truly hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I decided to share an excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel Book – 3 of my Fantasy Angels Series. Sharing the first excerpt of a new book is always a nerve-racking ordeal, but, here we go. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 13 – Gadreel Confronts the Beast

As we walked down to the harbor town of Whitby, the rising sun’s rays shone on my face, yet that didn’t prevent the cold from sinking into the core of my bones. In town, although early in the day, few people walked the streets, and the fields were void of serfs and farmers. 

Screams coming from the center of town sliced through the morning fog, so we hurried in that direction. Townsfolk gathered around three women who stood in the center of the town’s square, bound and held captive by five men in black tunics and hooded cloaks. The men smacked them and yanked them by the hair. One wrenched a woman’s arm so violently that I thought he would tear it out of its socket. As we ran toward them, another hooded man knocked a woman to the ground. The people watched and did nothing to help them.

“What is happening here?” I stood before them, panting, my breath rising in visible billows. “Why do you treat these women this way?” My hands closed into fists as heat rose to my face despite the cold.

One of the men stepped toward me, pulling his hood back to expose his face. “We’re inquisitors sent to bring order to this cursed city.”

“Who sent you?” I didn’t back down, keeping eye contact with this man at all times. “What curse do you speak of?”

“We were sent by His Most Reverend Excellency Abigor Chailín, bishop of London,” the man said. “His Excellency established The Inquisition with the blessing of both King Edward and His Holiness the Pope, to find and punish heretics and those practicing witchcraft, which is a form of heresy.” He measured me with a sideways glance. “What curse you ask? Look around you. This port city once thrived. Those who did not die of disease are now perishing from hunger due to poor crop growth and dying livestock as a result of this demoniacal frost. The rest of them lash out through violent crimes, even murder and rape. Witches are to blame for this. They cast spells, making people do atrocious acts they normally would never do. Sorcerers manipulate the weather.”

“So you’re claiming that these three women are witches?” I said.

“Yes,” he said with confidence as he held up a book. “This is the Malleus MaleficarumThe Hammer of Witches. The bishop of London wrote this instructional manual for his inquisitors. It lists ways to identify witches and explains the procedures in which to investigate, arrest, and punish them. We understand what must be done.”

I stood before him, unwavering. “What do you plan to do to these women? Judging by their bloodied and disheveled appearance, they’ve been punished enough.”

The man burst into laughter, as did his cohorts. 

“These women will burn at the stake for their crimes. I’ll not say another word until you tell us who you and your friends are and why you deem yourself worthy of interrogating the church.”

“My name is Gadreel, and I ask that you let these women go.”

The five men broke into hysterical laughter once more. Dracúl, Golem, and Sabina stepped forward and stood beside me. Thomas also stood by, a mere shimmer in the bitter air, the men unaware of his presence.

Dracúl moved closer to me. “We should verify if these men speak the truth. If these women practice black magic, they should be burned at the stake.”

His indifference in the matter of burning three souls alive shocked me. The doctrines of the church were deeply rooted in his psyche, skewing his perceptions.

“If I could touch them, I could determine if they’re lying,” Sabina whispered to me.

“Are you sure you want to do that? You’ll be weakened by the touch.”

“There’s no better way to find the truth.”

“Then you must do it.” Dracúl took Sabina by the arm, putting her in front of the women. “Apologies, but it would be irresponsible not to.”

I tipped my head in Sabina’s direction, and she wrested her arm from his grip. 

All the hooded men scrutinized her with their hands on the hilts of their swords, except one who stepped closer to me, his face hidden in the shadow of his black cape’s hood. “Did you say your name is Gadreel?”

“I did. Why do you ask?” 

The man stumbled backward so fast that he lost his balance. If not for one of the other men, he would have fallen on his backside. Jarred by his reaction, I looked to Dracúl. He gave me a half shrug and continued to focus on Sabina and the three women accused of witchcraft.

“We have a warrant for her arrest,” the man said, pointing at me as he steadied himself. “She’s a sorceress.”

“Oh bloody hell!” Golem rushed to Sabina, pulling her back in time to avoid getting trampled by the men who came charging after me. 

Dracúl transformed into his red fiend form to the gasps and screams of the hooded men and surrounding crowd.

Dóna’m la força que necessito!” Golem exclaimed, holding his stone figurine to his forehead and shifting into the stone giant.

The five inquisitors stopped in their tracks, eyes shifting between Dracúl and Golem. I revealed my massive wings, and although they were marked with a black band that ran horizontally across the top portion of them—a reminder of my past transgressions—they were otherwise pure white.

“What are you?” the first man who had approached me said as panic flittered across his face.

“I’m not a sorceress,” I said. “Go on, Sabina. Verify whether these women practice black magic or not.”

Sabina looked into the women’s eyes, and one by one she held their hands. When done, she staggered toward me.

“These women do not practice black magic,” she said. “They’re not even witches, not a one.”

Dracúl looked away and stared at the pebbles on the ground to avoid my eyes. I confronted the five hooded men. “You tortured three innocent women and were about to burn them alive. How should you be punished?”

 One of the men fell to his knees, whimpering. A steaming puddle formed on the ground between another’s legs, while the others trembled and gawked at us.

“Please forgive us,” the man who had lowered his hood said, holding up the inquisitor’s handbook. “We tried to follow the Malleus Maleficarum, but we must have done something wrong . . . missed a step somehow.” 

“Your master, Abigor, is a deceiver. I don’t care what that book says. Those three women are no more witches than you are. Save your regrets for them.” 

The men scrambled to the women, untying them while offering apologies.

“Do you have gold coins?” I asked. 

The men remained silent.

“Fine. Dracúl, please check them.”

Dracúl stepped toward them, and the men pawed at their belts to remove their coin purses. They threw them on the ground before Dracúl. 

“Give it all to the women,” I told him.

“Those purses hold gold coins,” the unhooded man said. “That’s too much money for peasant women.”

“There is not enough gold to compensate them for what you and the others have done,” I said. “The crosses you wear around your necks are fashioned from gold and hang from golden chains. Remove them as well, and hand them to the women.”

The men protested until Dracúl growled at them. Then they couldn’t remove them fast enough.

“Now leave this place and never return,” I said. “Be gone, but the horses stay.” 

“But how will we reach our destination without horses?” one of the men asked.

“On foot,” I said with a shrug. “You’re wearing expensive shoes. Many of these people do not own shoes, and yet they manage to get to where they’re going. You claim to be better than they are, so you should do just fine. Now go. I’d prefer it if we didn’t shed blood today.”

The men hurried away toward where the city’s edge meets the forest road.

Many of the bystanders had run away when Dracúl transformed into the red fiend, but those who stayed behind now cheered for us. The three women rushed to me and fell on their knees, reciting words of praise.

“No, please do not kneel before me. We are here to help you—all of us. It’s what we do.”

“I acknowledge what you are,” the youngest of the women said as she and the others got to their feet. “You’re an angel. Your skin has an iridescent glow, your entire being is surrounded by an ethereal radiance, and only an angel has massive wings like yours.” Her eyes were a silvery-blue, and although one of them wandered, she reminded me of my dear Cleodora. For once, I reveled at the thought of them living in the great depths of the ocean, for the world above had become a dark and dangerous place, full of misguided souls.

“You are safe now,” I told her and the others, including the crowd. “Your lives must change if you want to survive and live in peace. Stop the violence and depravity, because bad behavior will lead the inquisitors right back here, and next time we may not be here to help you.”

“Stay with us awhile,” one of the other women said.

Dracúl gave me a look before going behind a copse of trees to shift back to his man form and get dressed. Golem followed him. Sabina had regained the color in her face and looked more like herself again. She came closer to me.

“Our task is to find and destroy Abigor,” she said under her breath.

“I understand, but isn’t our main objective to help the people? They have been through so much. We wouldn’t have to stay long. There are sick people here who could use your aid, and the rest of us can assist them in other ways. I think we can stay a few days.”

“All right, but you have to break the news to Dracúl.”

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel. Books 1 & 2 of my Fantasy Angels Series are available on Amazon and you can read them free with KindleUnlimited.

New Book Launch: Eternal Road – The Final Stop

29 Sep

Hi, everyone! I’m delighted to feature author John W. Howell on my blog today. He launched a new book titled Eternal Road – The Final Stop. John is a favorite author of mine, and I’m excited to read his new book. I’ll let him tell you all about it.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Vashti, and for helping me launch Eternal Road – The final stop. I know you are busy with your next manuscript so I’m happy you could take time to help with the launch. Let me describe the kind of book it is. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

BLURB:

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

It is now available on Amazon in paperback and eBookThe Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th.

Here are the universal links

Kindle Universal link:  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link:  mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

Excerpt:

James steers Sam to a café that has seating on the sidewalk. They order coffees, and James then leans closer to Sam so that nobody will overhear and whispers, “Have you ever been to the Bellagio?”

She whispers, “No.”

No one pays them any attention, so James raises his voice to a normal level, “Neither have I. It will be hard to visualize a place that we’ve never visited.”

“How about going to a travel agent and getting a brochure? Would that work?”

James smiles. “It’s worth a try. I mean, how bad could it be?”

Sam shakes her head. “Don’t say that. The desert seemed pretty bad.”

James looks down. “Some parts were nice.”

Sam half-smiles. “My butt, right?”

James winks. “You said it, not me. Here’s our coffee.”

The server places the drinks on the table. James gives her twenty dollars. “Keep the change.”

Surprised but gratified, she leaves them to it.

James pulls out his phone while Sam enjoys her brew.

He sips while he concentrates on searching for a travel agent. “Looks like a travel place operates across the street.”

Sam nods. “Oh, yes. I can see the office from here.”

“So, after we finish our coffee, we’ll go over there.”

Sam nods at James’s cup. “How does it taste?”

“The coffee? Every bit as nice as when I was alive.”

“Good.”

When they’ve finished their drinks, they cross 79th street. The travel agent offers several brochures, so he and Sam select two that contain photos of the front of the Bellagio. They thank the agent and promise to come back as soon as plans get finalized.

The pair leave the agent’s office and head down 79th and toward Central Park. James says, “The park will give us the space we need from other people so that we can vanish from there.” They laugh out loud, trying to imagine the faces of those who might see them one second and then not the next. Still chuckling, they locate a spot that seems remote enough.

James says, “Hold my hand.” Sam takes his in a soft grip. “I’ll look at this Bellagio photo until it burns into my subconscious.”

“Just make sure you don’t have any other thoughts when you start the process.”

James stares at the brochure. “Don’t worry. The only thing on my mind is the Bellagio.”

Sam squeezes his hand. “You sure?”

“Yes. Well, confession time.” James grins at her.

Sam looks into his eyes. “My breasts, right?”

“Just for a moment.” James closes his eyes. “Okay, you ready?”

John’s bio:

John W. Howell is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John:

Blog Fiction Favorites:  http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books:

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting today. Please show this brilliant writer some love.

Poetry Friday ~ Sodom And Gomorrah

3 May

Hello, everyone! Welcome to The Writer Next Door blog.

 

I’d like to share a beautiful poem written by Poet, Gary Bryson. This poem goes so well with one of the chapters in my book, Son of the Serpent, I decided to share a short excerpt taken from this chapter. I hope you enjoy the poem and the excerpt. 

 

Sodom And Gomorrah

by Gary Bryson

 

Surely there’s a righteous man,
Surely there’s a few.
Lord surely some would keep their Faith,
And trust alone in You.

As Sodom and her sisters,
Lie prosperous on the plain,
So surely there are ten or more,
Who still call on your name.

Preserve them Lord, preserve them,
Before it is too late.
I know there must be eight or more,
Who trust your Holy state.

Deliver Lord, deliver,
From judgment’s righteous call.
If there be only six or more,
Would you deliver all?

I feel Your anger kindled Lord,
And evil cannot win.
If I can find you four or more,
Will You forget this sin?

So be it Lord, So be it,
Justice demands your wrath.
You never change or compromise,
They freely chose their path.

Surely there’s a righteous man,
Lord, maybe there are two.
Is there only one who keeps his faith,
Alone I trust in You.

 

 

sodom and gomorrah-son of the serpent-vashti quiroz vega-gerezon-DeviantArt-fantasy angels series-blog tour-new book

Illustration by Jonas Åkerlund (gerezon) DeviantArt

 

 In this chapter Dracúl’s search for Lilith brought him to Sodom, a damned city. This city along with the city of Gomorrah had been targeted for destruction by God. Messenger Angels came to warn the only righteous man in Sodom, Lot, to leave the city at once lest he and his family be destroyed along with the Lilituens and demons that reside there.

Dracúl had met Lot’s daughter, Plitith outside the city gates where she broke Sodom law by feeding the poor, sick and starving people who had been banished to the desert outside the city to die. He gave her all the food and water in his possession to help and afterward she invited him to her home where he heard God’s messengers warn her family to leave the city of Sodom at once or die. Dracúl decided to help Plitith and her family escape before it was too late.

 

 

Excerpt from Son of the Serpent:

 

I put my arm around Plitith, and we hurried out of the city. The moment we traversed the gates, they closed behind us, with the deafening groan and clank of bolts sliding into place, as if God Himself had bolted them shut.

      Lot led us in the direction the angels had told him to go. At first we ran and then walked as fast as we could. Lot held a shroud over his wife and younger daughter’s heads, trying to shield them from whatever was happening behind us. The look of discontent on Lot’s wife’s face concerned me. I was compelled to remind them of the angels’ warning again.

      “Let’s not forget what God’s messengers told us,” I said, watching Lot’s wife. “Do not look back toward Sodom, no matter what you hear.” I pressed Plitith closer to me, and we continued our escape.

      Before we got much farther, a thunderous growl made the ground beneath our feet tremble. Plitith gasped and Lot held his wife and youngest daughter closer as they screamed.

      “Keep moving!” I rushed, pushing Plitith along as Lot and the others lagged behind. “You must move faster!” I was no longer a child who jumped at the smallest noises, but the sounds we heard would bring the bravest man to his knees.

      Lot hurried and ran beside us, pushing his young daughter along ahead of him as we hastened toward the mountains. I kept an eye on Lot’s wife. She peered over her shoulder several times, and then she pulled away from Lot, stopped in her tracks, and looked back at the city of Sodom.

      “No, no, no!” Lot cried as he reached for her, but his daughter did not let him go to her. He fell to the ground and sobbed while she tried to lift him.

      “Help your sister and father. Do not look back or allow them to turn,” I whispered to Plitith.

She held on to me and shook her head. “Do not fear. I will not look.”

      I toddled backward until I was beside his wife. She looked frozen––pale and motionless, her eyes fixed on the city of Sodom. I moved back further to stand before her, my back to the city. I waved my hand in front of her eyes, but they did not blink.

      Then I heard a soft crackling and hissing coming from below. I crouched next to her legs and looked. Her body, beginning with her feet, altered before my eyes, transforming into tiny, colorless crystals. A briny scent wafted into my nostrils and burned. She had turned into a statue of salt. I scrambled to my feet and reached out to touch her neck with one shaking finger. I gasped as she crumbled before me.

      “Dracúl, help us!” Plitith and her sister were trying to get their father off the ground, where he lay facedown sobbing. I ran to them and helped get him to his feet.

      The sun burned orange and sank, and the moon threw its shadow to the earth. “We must hurry.” I took the youngest and put her ahead of us. Lot walked with faltering steps, swaying and tottering as he wailed, so Plitith and I put our arms around him and dragged him along.

      “What of my mother?” Her voice was soft and brittle. Lot and her sister turned their sights to me, also waiting for an answer.

      “She perished the instant her eyes gazed upon Sodom. Her body changed into a sort of crystalline mixture––salt. She was converted into a statue of salt. She crumbled to the ground before me and was carried away by the wind.” Shocked faces stared back at me, and then they wept in silence.

son of the serpent-excerpt-vashti quiroz vega-author-novel-sodom and gomorrah-dragon-fire-Lot's wife-fantasy-story-blog tour-book_tour-fantasy angels series

Thanks for stopping by and have a happy day!

Poetry Friday

14 Dec

Hello, everyone! Welcome.

Today I’m sharing a Haiku and Tanka followed by a short excerpt from my new book, Son of the Serpent

The poems are written in the ocean’s point of view at the time of the Great Flood. I hope you enjoy it.

He fills me with rain

I venture to cleanse the Earth

Of His tainted souls

A form in the clouds

The ward who had restrained me

loosed my giant waves

All I wished for was to breathe

But my breath moves mountains

 

Son of the Serpent is a High Fantasy|Paranormal novel sprinkled with Horror and Romance. It is aimed at an 18+ audience. The book is written in 1st person POV. There are chapters written in Dracul’s voice interspersed by chronicles written in Lilith’s (the villain) voice. Today I’m going to share an excerpt from one of the Chronicles of Lilith.

Son of the Serpent-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy angels series-lilith-gadreel-dracul-blog tour-virtual_book_tour-angels and demons

Excerpt: Chronicles of Lilith

 

As I prepared to leave Shuruppak, rumors about a man named Noah, who claimed to be God’s prophet, came to my attention. According to my human servants, this man said God speaks to him and has told him there shall be a catastrophic event. Every living thing on this planet shall perish, except those beings selected by God Himself.

The servants laughed and took pleasure in ridiculing this man. They called him insane. I, however, have learned throughout the years that there is always some truth to the ramblings of the insane. I would like to see this man, Noah, and listen to his preaching, thus my departure would have to wait.

In the middle of the night I awoke to booming thunder, the likes of which I had not heard since the days I wandered in the wilderness with Gadreel when we first arrived on this planet. I leaped out of my bed and ran to a nearby window. The sky was ominous, with large bitumen-black clouds gathering to form gigantic ones. My superior vision allowed me to see things in the darkness that no other being could. A flash of lightning lit the world white for a moment. Rain began to fall, first tapping on the window and then becoming a rapid succession of beats.

I threw on a garment and ran outside to get a better look. There were still people outdoors, servants slow to finish their tasks for the day and others who came out to see what was happening. They ran for cover as storm clouds spat their loads of water. Sharp droplets of icy-cold water needled my shoulders and back. I shivered under the prickly feeling. The rain came in torrents now. Puddles formed, and the puddles became streams. They grew into rivers. I ran to a nearby tree to take shelter under it.

I hid from the people running and screaming in fear and shifted to my serpent form. The torrent became more intense, and the night grew darker with the bruise of thick, angry clouds. A wall of rain moved over the tree I stood under, and the drops drummed against the canopy. So much water fell from the skies that the sound blurred into one long, whirring tumult.

Many of the people of Shuruppak left their flooded homes and wandered the streets like lost souls. They had never seen a storm of this magnitude. Some had only been familiar with the morning dew. I had seen enough. I spread my wings and took to the sky. Flying had never been more difficult. The rain pelted my wings, while bolts of lightning threaten to spear me as they sliced the air to my left and right.

The earth shook and sent shockwaves rippling through the ground like water, destroying houses in an instant. Fires exploded everywhere, and the smell of smoke twisting through the air between raindrops was acrid on the hot breeze. Regular clatters rang out as structures crumbled apart and fell to the ground. I needed to escape, find shelter, but where could I hide from such devastation? The skies were becoming more and more dangerous. I flew toward the coast, but my wings grew too heavy and sodden to keep me airborne. I fell to the beach.

I looked toward the coastline, wincing and moaning, feeling the pain of my fall. I had been to this beach before, but it looked strangely unfamiliar now, abnormally vast. I thought maybe the darkness of the night was playing tricks on my vision, but then I realized why the beach looked so strange. The surf had drawn back hundreds of miles; the abandoned sand twinkled in the moonlight despite the rain.

I gasped at a black line on the horizon and watched as a colossal wave swept toward me at hundreds of miles per hour—rushing, roaring, angry froth foaming from between its lips. I stared, eyes fixed, as the wave surged in. I knew it was impossible to escape it. Heat had never left my body as fast as it did in this brief moment of realization. The torrent came after me, granting me a few seconds to enjoy breathing the ocean air before it wrapped me in frigid foamy fingers and dragged me to the ocean floor.

I struggled as sand and briny water filled my lungs, causing them to expand and burn. As the wave moved, it pulled me along with it, like it wanted me to witness the devastation it would cause. My death would not be simple or fast, for the powers granted to me by the fruit from the Tree of Life would sustain me. Powers I once cherished now seemed a curse.

As the wave pushed me along, I crashed into debris in the water. Every stab, rip, and fracture my body suffered brought me immense pain. Men, women, and children drowned, their dead bodies floating around me, yet I remained alive.

The giant wave hit Shuruppak. It was nothing like the waves which lap the shore every minute of every day. This was a gigantic wall of water, cold and powerful. It came over land with the power of a volcanic blast. It moved over the city with more ease than a wave over the sand, reducing houses and structures to rubble and killing every living thing.

My broken body filled with water, sand, and debris until the weight of it fixed me to the ocean floor. People, livestock, uprooted trees, and all manner of structures floated past me. The rain continued to pour.

The sky was now hinting at sunrise. Nothing escaped my eyes and ears, but I was immobile. Every inch of my body throbbed with pain, and the cold of the water chilled my bones. As I lay motionless, I watched a large wooden vessel approach. It was the greatest ship I had ever seen. It glided over the water’s surface, throwing its shadow to the sea floor as it sailed past me, turning day to night. I overheard people singing and the roar, moo, bleat, and bray of animals coming from the vessel. Not everyone had perished. Some shall go on, while I remain imprisoned in this watery grave. The weight of the water pressed down on me, crushing me, as the rain increased its depth.

The feeling of drowning never left me. The feeling of panic, unable to take breath, to inflate my lungs. The slow filling of my larynx––gagging, coughing, briny water forcing its way through my nostrils and into my lungs like acid. I would drown and die, and after a moment of peace, the process began again.

A familiar recollection filled the void in my head, spinning memories of Beelzebub lying at the bottom of the Euphrates River bound in chains, disfigured by suffering and hate. Is that also to be my fate? Shall I become a grotesque monster wallowing in fear, self-loathing, and pain?A sharp, loud wail pierced my psyche, and I realized it was I who did the screaming.

Fantasy Angels Series-son of the serpent-the fall of lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy-novel-fallen angels-demons-jinn-lilith-gadreel-dracul

Try and Life are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Have a wonderful day!

Haiku Friday – Breeze & Blow

24 Mar

Welcome to The Writer Next Door blog! Happy Haiku Friday!

 

Breeze and Blow are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

  • I decided to share an excerpt from my WIP, The Fall of Lilith. The Fall of Lilith is a young adult/adult Fantasy with dark elements about angels. I hope you enjoy.

The Fall of Lilith, The Writer Next Door, Vashti Q, Poetry, Haiku_Friday, excerpt, novel

Illustration by Luis Royo

 When Lilith arrived at the tree, she marveled at its brilliance. She coiled her tail around its base, slid to a branch, and plucked one of its blushing fruit. She stared at it, but hesitated to put it in her mouth, recalling what happened when she bit into the fruit from the other tree.

The fruit was like none she had ever seen, draped in shiny reddish-gold. It was cold and smooth in her hand. She placed her mouth over it and sank her bloodstained teeth into its crisp, delicious flesh. The fruit squirted its sweet, succulent juice into her mouth. Its scent swathed her like a dip in a pool of warm water, conjuring images of Heaven’s light and bathing in the River of Life. The aroma was bright, cheerful, and more fragrant than any flower in Heaven’s Triumph Gardens.

Upon finishing the magnificent fruit, she began to undergo a transformation. She grew stronger, full of energy and vitality. The eyes on her wings gained the power of sight, having been of no use in the past. Now she saw in every direction at once, except directly behind her. The feathers in her wings became lustrous and able to withstand extreme temperatures. The inner frame of her wings became stronger, capable of enduring powerful impacts. Her tail grew longer and robust. The colors of her lower half were alluring and intense. She knew she was becoming godlike.

Blinding flashes of lightning sliced through the sky. Thunder, which followed closely, shook the ground. As the wind grew stronger, the numerous trees in the Garden began to disintegrate one by one. The dust left behind by the crumbling trees blew to and fro in the increasing wind. Flowers and greeneries no longer crooned melodies. The vegetation wailed and screeched as it ceased to exist.

Lilith scanned her surroundings. The colors of the Garden were gone, and only dreariness remained as it all turned to sand. She released the Tree of Life and leapt to the ground before it, too, dissolved. She lifted her eyes to the sky, now an ominous dark gray. A jagged bolt of lightning struck nearby; she screamed. Overhead thunder continued to rumble, boom, and clash. She jumped as her hands flew to cover her ears. She slithered ahead, leaning into the wind. Dirt and debris whizzed by her, whipping her face and body. She pressed her eyelids together against the sting of the violent wind. A heavy, humid smell spread through the air. The Garden of Eden was in turmoil. If she did not exit soon, she would suffer the wrath of God.

She flapped her wings. Thick, turbulent winds attacked her from every direction, making it difficult for her to take flight. Beating her powerful wings faster she lifted herself off the ground. She moved through the dense, forceful atmosphere, and finally escaped. Had she not eaten from the Tree of Life and gained supernatural powers, she would have perished. Once more, she headed to the cover of the forest. She settled on the tallest tree where she could overlook the destruction of paradise.

The wind grew stronger

Garden trees turned to grey dust

Eden’s colors blown

Flowers no longer sang, but

wailed as they ceased to exist

Writers Quote Wednesday – Mystery

20 Apr

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

~Albert Einstein

What is Mystery?

Any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation.

I’ve decided to put myself out there and post a section of my work-in-progress, Dracúl. This is my first draft. Dracúl follows The Fall of Lilith and is the second installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. I thought this section had a lot of mystery, so it went well with this week’s theme.

Vashti Q-Dracúl-The Fall of Lilith-Fantasy-novel-fantasy-angels-series

Chapter 1- THE AWAKENING

 

I awoke to darkness and the smell of musty earth and mold. I gasped, feeling disoriented to the time and place. The air was humid and stinging cold. Trembling I shifted on the moist ground my eyes flitted in every direction searching for a source of luminosity. Filaments of moonlight scarcely passed the towering trees that surrounded me.

I raised my shadowy vision to the skies but did not gaze upon a single star. Instead, I saw a mass of dark, branches looming above me. The cold breeze blew and made the trees rustle like living things. Bare branches seemed to come at me like clutching clawed hands. An eerie howling and whistling made by the wind moving around them gave me a jolt.

My pulse began to thump loudly in my ears drowning all sounds except that of my fitful panting.

“Where am I?” My voice sounded small, brittle and unfamiliar. I was but a child. A boy.

Unsure what to do, I lifted my upper body off the wet earth and squinted into the dimness of the forest.

My mind was clouded. “Who am I? Why am I alone in this darkness?” I squeezed my eyes shut and then sprung them open again. My vision began to clear, but my mind was still a fog.

I passed my hands over my face and head. I inhaled sharply as my hands ran across two pointy projections extending from my skull. Shaking, I passed my hands over the rest of my body and noticed the skin below my waist was different from the skin on my torso, arms and face. My lower body was covered in dry, smooth scales cold to the touch.

Images of a tall creature with long extremities filled my mind. Where are my lower limbs? As my vision adjusted to my surroundings I saw that I had no legs. Instead, I had a scaly tail––like a serpent. There was a heaviness tugging on my backbone. I shook to remove the hindrance, but instead a huge pair of black, spiky wings distended from my back. My body tensed. “What sort of creature am I?”

Once more I closed my eyes. When I reopened them I saw colors––grayish green moss covered rocks and russet trees, a sea of gold and copper covered the ground as crisp leaves float down from trees and curl into the moist earth. I gazed at my arms and hands. My skin was red––as red as blood and my hands were clawed.

“Was I abandoned here?”

I wished to escape, but my reptilian lower body would not move. A gust blew chilling the air and blowing the trees. I feared getting ensnared by the trees’ clutches if I took flight. Hostile screeches from unknown creatures pierced the air. I whisked my head to and fro searching for the origins of the sounds futilely. Terror seemed to thwart logic and rational thinking.

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and combining it with a poem, story or excerpt and posting it on your blog.